What is N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT)?
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT) is an acetylated derivative of the amino acid L-tyrosine. N-acetyl L-tyrosine converts into L-tyrosine, which cells use to synthesize proteins. L-tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid, as the body can produce it from L-phenylalanine, another amino acid. L-Tyrosine is a biochemical precursor in the synthesis of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters play critical roles in behavior, cognition, and the fight-flight-or-freeze response. L-Tyrosine is also the precursor to the skin pigment melanin.
Potential N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine Benefits
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine and Cognition
As a source of l-tyrosine, NALT may improve memory and alertness. One study noted that l-tyrosine increased participants’ ability to switch between tasks rapidly. L-Tyrosine is particularly effective at improving cognition during periods of stress. Stress usually impairs memory, learning, reason, and attention. Stress suppresses the synthesis of dopamine, which plays an integral role in working memory. It also depletes existing stores of dopamine and norepinephrine. L-Tyrosine helps restore these neurotransmitters to improve memory during periods of stress. Additionally, l-tyrosine can help improve alertness during periods of sleep deprivation.
N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine and Stress
NALT may improve stress resiliency by providing l-tyrosine. L-Tyrosine’s interactions with stress extend beyond cognitive function. Research shows that people handle stress better when taking l-tyrosine supplements. One study reported that l-tyrosine supplements helped participants manage stressful situations, including lengthy periods of work, cold exposure, fatigue, and sleep deprivation. Another study noted that NALT induces biological mechanisms that promote stress resiliency.
Potential N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine Side Effects
NALT likely has similar side effects to l-tyrosine. The FDA labeled l-tyrosine as generally recognized as safe (GRAS). L-Tyrosine may cause mild side effects, such as headache, nausea, and irritability.
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